BPO industry in Mindanao suffers from MILF attacks

By: Administrator  |   1/7/2009 1:54:39 AM

The clashes between the government troops and the rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were isolated in several provinces in Mindanao, but it is the entire region that is paying for it.
 
The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is suffering, particularly in the industrialized cities of Davao and Cagayan De Oro, because of the negative perception due to the volatile peace situation. It scares away investors, industry experts told Newsbreak.

"There is a huge potential because of the huge number of talents in Davao and Cagayan de Oro, but it is difficult to convince [the investors to come] because of the perception that Mindanao is not peaceful," said Jamea Garcia, executive director for talent development of the Business Process Association of the Philippines.

Another source disclosed that two BPO firms, who were close to finalizing their plans to locate in Mindanao, backed out when the clashes between the military and rebels erupted in August due to the aborted signing of the Moro homeland accord.

This is unfortunate because the region has made strides in attracting the multinational BPO companies away from established outsourcing hubs like Metro Manila and Cebu.

Other Mindanao cities-General Santos, Dipolog, and Zamboanga-have also been gearing to benefit from the growing industry.

Even with the global financial crisis, the BPO industry remains to be one of the sunshine industries of the country. While industry growth is expected to be slower than previous years, experts say the BPO companies will keep their operations in the Philippines. The recession in the US would force more companies to cut cost by outsourcing some of their functions to countries with cheap labor, they said.

With or without the global financial crisis, the BPO companies are keen in finding new hubs, said Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT).

Lease rates for a prime office rate in Makati has increased by 250 percent from 2005 to 2007. More importantly, the universities in the Mindanao region offer a new pool of possible recruits.

The BPO companies in Manila are suffering from depleted human resources resulting in poaching among companies.

Citing data from the Commission on Higher Education, Ibrahim said that 74 percent of the 400,000 graduates come from outside Metro Manila.

"NCR has only 25 percent of the country's graduating population but 80 percent of the outsourcing jobs," Ibrahim said.

The rest of Luzon produce 124,000 graduates a year while Mindanao and Visayas has 89,000. and 84,000,  respectively.

Source: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/12/08/08/bpo-industry-mindanao-suffers-milf-attacks


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